In the Wall Street Journal op-ed entitled Trump’s Plan to Win Conservative Support, Fred Barnes says Trump will soon deliver “a series of formal speeches on policy issues, set pieces drafted by speechwriters and delivered from prepared texts.”
If this is all it takes to get a conservative on board with Trump, they’re the cheapest of cheap dates. Trump speaks off the cuff and offers liberal progressive views, time and again. He supported the stimulus, TARP, and the auto bailout. When he criticized Scott Walker, Trump said, “instead of raising taxes, he cut back on schools, he cut back on highways, he cut back on a lot of things.” He’s defending Planned Parenthood at length, supported affirmative action, and said the impeachment of George W. Bush would have been “a wonderful thing.” He said his sister, a judge who believes the Constitution guarantees the right to a partial-birth abortion, would make a phenomenal Supreme Court judge. Until recently, Trump supported higher taxes on the wealthy, the Assault Weapons ban and longer waiting times for gun purchases.
And now conservatives are supposed to put aside their doubts because Trump manages to stick to the script for one speech? What do you think more accurately reflects Trump’s true perspective, his off-the-cuff comments or delivering a speech written by someone else?
Barnes concludes, “The overtures to conservatives are crucial to the Trump campaign. His ‘pivot’ will have to be genuine, his speeches credible. It’s all up to the unpredictable Mr. Trump.”
I see Trump as an incoherent populist authoritarian, but at least he’s an authentic incoherent populist authoritarian. Don’t insult conservatives by clumsily trying to be something you’re not.